|It's snowing at Stade Aimé Giral!|
(USAP for the uninitiated, is Perpignan's local rugby team and rugby is the Number One Sport here in the Deep South of France)
We rubbed shoulders with Perpignan's hob nobs and beautiful people, enjoyed a four course delicious meal and cheered USAP to victory from the best seats in the house. Apart from the fact that it was actually SNOWING while the match was taking place and that I had to forgo fashion pride and wear my full ski gear, including two pairs of ski gloves, it was a five star way to enjoy a rugby match.
At the FREE bar at half time and full time, most people weren't even interested in going to the bar... a few people had a glass of champagne, others an orangina!!! and there was certainly no rush on the barmen.
Now, close your eyes and imagine the scene in Ireland. Free wine with the meal and a free bar for the whole match. We're talking scrums and tackles and strategic planning, just to get to the bar! We're talking singing and dancing and uproarious behaviour, back slapping, pint gulping, high fiving, bear hugging, the fields of Athenry, then more pints, more chasers, pee-ing everywhere in the stadium and general tom foolery. We're talking girls in micro mini skirts, tank tops and killer stillettos. We're talking mayhem, folks.
The Mediterranean drinking culture sure is different .. even though Monsieur le Mediterranean actually drinks more than your typical Irishman, there is no binge drinking culture and one rarely sees a drunk French person.
Slow and steady wins the race, it appears "Regular and moderate alcohol intake throughout the week, the typical pattern in middle aged men in France is associated with a low risk of heart disease, whereas the binge drinking pattern more prevalent in Ireland and the the UK confers a higher risk," Jean-Bernard Ruidavets, MD, of Toulouse University in France says.
Be careful out there! Chin chin agus Sláinte!!